The reason Chris Gimenez has a roster spot? To catch Yu Darvish. Yet, despite the latter sitting on the disabled list, Gimenez continues to take up valuable space.
On Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs offense went cold (again) in a 1-0 loss. The series finale loss allowed the Milwaukee Brewers to extend their slim lead in the division – but it’s more how the Cubs lost that makes things so frustrating.
Trailing by just one run in the top of the ninth inning, still with a chance to tie the game or even take the lead, the Cubs went down without a fight. Javier Baez led off the inning with a line out to center field while Chris Gimenez and Willson Contreras both struck out swinging.
Not to say that one man could have single-handedly won the game for the Cubs, but in that ninth inning I would have much rather had Victor Caratini at the plate than Gimenez. To this point in the season, Caratini has been productive with the bat while Gimenez has struggled – badly.
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In his stint early on with the Cubs, Caratini hit .262 with 17 hits in 65 at-bats. Since being demoted to the minors, the young catcher has continued to thrive, hitting .278 with 14 RBI and one home run.
As for Gimenez its been a different story at the plate, albeit a small sample size to this point. In his six games with the Cubs, the veteran backstop has recorded just three hits and is batting .176.
The Gimenez-Darvish combo has yet to take off
While Gimenez has struggled at the plate, his bat is not the reason the Cubs signed him in the offseason. The main reason for bringing Gimenez to Chicago was for him to be Yu Darvish’s personal catcher. This is similar to what the Cubs previously did with David Ross and Jon Lester, which seemed to work out.
The same can’t be said about Gimenez and Darvish to this point, who have yet to gain any traction on the field. With Gimenez starting the season in Iowa and Darvish hitting the disabled list twice, they have not been battery mates once this season.
If Yu Darvish isn’t healthy and pitching, Gimenez should not hold a roster spot on the big league club. The Cubs would be better served moving forward with Caratini as he has the better bat of the two and is a strong backup for both Contreras and Anthony Rizzo.